March 25, 2024

PizzaBot featured at the 40th anniversary International Pizza Expo!

Booth of the Day: L2F
Are automated pizzerias the future?

At Booth No. 2637, the second generation of L2F’s PizzaBot was in action, pumping out pies in brisk fashion. It’s designed to operate in as little as 250 square feet of space. That includes room for a prep table, pick-up pizza lockers, ordering POS tablets, the PizzaBot itself and two employees to navigate the space.

I was able to sample exactly what this would look like from a customer’s ordering-journey perspective. I simply walked up to a self-service kiosk and inputted an order for a pepperoni pizza. I entered my name and a phone number and hit “order.” The machine fired up the pepperoni pizza; a dough tray with pre-prepped dough sent the pie into the machine, where it was then topped with sauce. (The machine holds up to three gallons of sauce.)

Next, the machine distributed mozzarella evenly over the sauced pie, which then moved over to a dispenser with two available toppings—pepperoni and sausage—and pepperoni was added. Tom Kunkel, vice president of sales and marketing with Middleby Automation, parent company of L2F, noted that the sauce, cheese and other toppings are evenly distributed every single time. The machine is almost certainly more consistent than an employee could be.

The pie was sent through an oven, cooked to perfection and cut, boxed and placed in a food storage locker. I received a text with both a code and a QR code, either of which would unlock the food storage cubby, and voila! The pizza was served. The whole process took less than seven minutes.

The second-generation PizzaBot isn’t being used in pizzerias yet, but Kunkel said it’s set to launch in a couple of different kitchens in the fall. The first generation of the PizzaBot—which churns out between 40 and 70 pies per hour—found a home in a variety of spaces, including stadiums, university campus kitchens and large retail stores.

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